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Those Five Years

This article is written by Mr. H.V.Guru Murthy

Those Five Years

Those Five Years

Mohammed Rafi enthralled the followers of Indian Film music from 1944 to 1980, almost throughout remaining on top and labeled No. One Singer in the Film Industry. But there was a period from 1972 to 1976, when due to certain reasons his number of songs went down though the quality of some of his songs sung during that period remained intact, as good as at any time. For Rafi Fans, this period was one of disappointment and the standard of Hindi film music in general started sliding from this period.  

In those days, the two most popular Radio programs were “Aap Ki Farmaish” in the morning from 8 to 9 AM and of course, the “Binaca Geet Mala” on every Wednesdays from 8 to 9 PM, both aired by Radio Ceylon. Though Vividhbharati was also popular, still for new songs it was Radio Ceylon which was considered the barometer for popularity charts as Vividhbharati used to play mainly old songs. In fact, we used to keenly follow the “Paidans”, “Sartaz Geet Ka Bigul”, etc. on BGM beautifully compared by the great Amin Sayani. Totally there used to be 16 songs every week and after playing for 18 times or weeks, the particular song used to get retired with a Bigul. The songs were earlier selected based on the “Record sales” but subsequently after 1972 or so, when the BGM completed 1000 episodes, the small small “Listeners Club” spread throughout the Country were given the responsibility of choosing the hit songs. Perhaps, the deterioration started from this point.

Though ARADHANA was released in 1969 and Kishore became the rage of the Nation, still almost till 1971 songs of Rafi were very popular and in all the programs, Rafi occupied the pride of place. But slowly, Rafi’s numbers started disappearing especially from BGM and I still remember, one particular Wednesday, there was not even a single  song of Rafi till the last song and the top song happened to be the GEET solo “Mere Mitwa”. Though songs like the title song of GADDAR was very popular in “Aap Ki Farmasih”, but still it did not make its mark in BGM.

Another reason was that for about eight months, Rafiji did not record as during his Haz pilgrimage, he was told that singing is sin. The orthodox, devout and simpleton Rafi believed it, otherwise he would have sung all the songs in Aradhana and Kati Patang, the two films which pushed up Kishore. Once Rafi realized that he is losing ground, he took up the challenge and commenced singing again. 

In these five years somehow, even the awards eluded Rafi. Though he was nominated for the solos of ‘Naina’ and ‘Maa Bahen Aur Biwi’, still he was not given the award. So many of his other good songs neither made the big splash that his songs did earlier nor fetched him any awards.

There were good songs of Rafi in 1972 in films like Lalkar (Lata duet ‘Bol De Mere Sathiyan‘), Tangewala (Tap Tap Tipti), Roop Tera Mastana (how can one forget ‘Bade Bewafa Hain Yeh‘ and ‘Hasin Dilruba‘), Shararat (Dilne Pyaar Kiya Hai Ek Bewafase), Aan Ban (Lata duet ‘Tum Meri Ho‘), Gora Aur Kala (‘Ikna Ik Din Ye‘ and ‘Tere Nain‘), Milap (Kahin Aisa Na Ho), Kaanch Aur Heera (Nazar Aati Nahin Manzil), Shehzada (‘Tere Attaru‘ and Lata duet ‘Kahe Ko Bulaya‘), Ek Nazar (Duet ‘Patta Patta‘), Dil Ka Raja (‘Sundar Ho Aisi‘, ‘Jao Tum Bhi Jao‘ and Asha duet ‘Badi Hai Sundar‘), Rivaaz (Asha duet ‘Tuzhame Hun Main Muzhame Hai Tu‘), but somehow the songs did not become that popular. Few Rafi songs which made up the chart were “Na Tu Zamin Ke Liye” (Dastaan) and Lata Duet “Tere Nainon Ke Me Geet” (Anuraag) in BGM and “Ae Phulzadi” (Bhai Ho To Aisa) in Radio Ceylon. But the songs of Rafi in BGM used to appear and disappear without reaching the “Pehli Paidaan” or “Sartaaz Geet”. 

Mohd Rafi, Asha Bhosale rehearsals a song Aaja Aaja Main Hoon Pyar Tera with R.D.Burman and Goldie Anand

Mohd Rafi, Asha Bhosale rehearsals a song "Aaja Aaja Main Hoon Pyar Tera" with R.D.Burman and Goldie Anand


Came 1973. The solo of UPHAAR (Main Ek Raja Hun) made some mark in BGM at lower “Paidaans” and the redoubtable Amin Sayani wished that with this song Rafiji would make a comeback. Otherwise, notable Rafi songs in the year were from Loafer (Aaj Mausam), Ek Nari Do Roop (Dil Ka Suna Saanz), Maa Bahen Aur Biwi (Filmfare nominated ‘Acha Hi Hua Dil‘), Zanjeer (Lata duet ‘Deewane Hain‘), Honeymoon (the super melodious ‘Din Hai Yeh Baharke‘), Samjhauta (‘Badi Door Se‘ and ‘Sabke Rahte‘), Hanste Zakhm (‘Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho‘ and ‘Ye Mana Meri Jaan‘), Ghulam Begum Baadshah (Ghodi Pe Hoke Sawar), Naina (Filmfare nominated ‘Humko To Jaanase‘), Gaal Gulabi Nain Sharabi (Dilraj Kaur Duet ‘Meri Hasraton Ki Duniya‘). But Rafiji also came out with a class duet with Lataji in Abhimaan – Teri Bindiya Re. Of course, the same year Yadon Ki Baraat was also released with its title song and the chartbuster Asha duet – Chura Liya Hai. Though all these songs were good, but most of them did not make up the chart in BGM and other programs where KK ruled supreme. Especially the beautiful solo song of Hanste Zakhm and Abhimaan made fleeting appearances but never made up the grades in BGM which was highly disappointing.

The trend continued in 1974. We had Dost (Kaise Jeete Hain Bhala), Benaam (duet ‘Aa Raat Jati Hai’), Thokar (the wonderful solo ‘Apni Aankhon Me Basakar‘), Pocket Maar (‘Banda Parwar Main Kahan‘ and Lata duet ‘Duniya Me Paise Bina‘), Chor Machaye Shor (Lata duet ‘Ek Daal Par‘ and Asha duet ‘Paon Me Gori‘), Alingan (Solo ‘Is Tarah Jao Nahin‘ and Asha duet ‘Hamare Dilko‘), Vachan, Paise Ki Gudiya (Ladki Punjab Ki), Nai Din Nai Raat (Title song), Geeta Mera Naam, My Friend (Naiyya Meri), Humrahi (Chup Chup Chup Kyoon Baiti Ho), Chote Sarkar, Kunwara Baap (Mahamood duet, the wonderful ‘Sazi Rahe‘), Resham Ki Dori. The only two songs which could be considered super hits were Hawas (Teri Galiyonme Na) and Haath Ki Safai (Lata duet ‘Vada Karle Sajana‘) though not in BGM, otherwise the year was quite pedestrian compared to the high standards set by Rafiji. The solo from Thokar not making its mark was puzzling because it was one of the best romantic solo sung by Rafi though on a lesser known actor like Baldev Khosla.

The next year was much more disappointing. 1975 gave us Mausam (Lata duet ‘Chadi Re Chadi), Chupke Chupke (KK duet ‘Saregama‘), Do Jasoos (Mukesh duets ‘Do Jasoos‘ and ‘Chad Gayi Chad Gayi‘), Lafange (Asha Duet ‘Ib Lagan Lagi‘), Zinda Dil (Title song), Ek Mahal Ho Sapno Ka (Lata Duet title song), Pratigya. None of the songs became super hits except perhaps Pratigya solo ‘Na Jat Yamala‘.

The year 1976 had two films Amanat and Bairaag, whose songs had become very popular about two years earlier in Vividbharati before the release of the movies, but the films got delayed and the films also failed though they had good songs like ‘Door Rahakar Na Karo Baat‘ in Amanat and two Asha duets ‘Sare Shahar Me‘ and ‘Peete Peete‘ apart from Lata duet ‘Sunore Suno‘ in Bairaag. Apart from these two, we had Charas (With Lata and Anand Bakshi ‘Ke Aaja Teri Yaad Aayi‘), Ek Baap Che Bete (Sulakhana Pandit duet ‘Ghadi Milan Ki Aayi‘), Giny Aur Jhonny (Asha duet ‘Kahun Kya‘), Adalat (Lata duet ‘Tumse Door Rahake‘). But a strange thing happened. Rishi Kapoor who always had either Shailendra Singh or KK as his Singers in most of his films had to take Rafi in “Laila Majnu” because of the insistence of the Music Director Madan Mohan who put his foot down and wanted only Rafi for the film and the rest is history. Each and every song of Laila Majnu was a hit (‘Tere Darpe Aaya Hun‘, ‘Ye Dawa Aaj‘, ‘Barbade Mohabbat Ki‘ and Lata duet ‘Is Reshami Pajebaki‘) and soon Rafi became the voice of Rishi. Though the film had many flaws, it became a hit mainly because of the music and the superlative songs and Rafiji was back to the place where he belonged, i.e. the TOP. As Sunil Dutt, it seems commented that the real hero of the movie GAZAL was Rafi, similarly we can say that the real hero of the movie LAILA MAJNU was Rafi.

This was the year when KK was also banned from Vividbharati due to his tax problems and confrontation with the Government due to Emergency related problems, otherwise till now for the past about five years, KK was leading in all the popular programs like BGM and also winning awards. The most astonishing thing was that even very very ordinary songs like Na Intezar Karun (Dushman), Haal Kya Hai (Anokhi Ada), Rafta Rafta (Keemat – perhaps due to Dharmendra’s acting), Nafrat Karnewalon Ke (Jhonny Mera Naam), etc. became super-hits as compared to KK’s good songs from films like Aandhi, Mere Jeevan Sathi, Zameer, etc. The public taste had definitely gone down. 

Mohd Rafi discussing with Hari Prasad Chaurasia and others in the recording studio

Mohd Rafi discussing with Hari Prasad Chaurasia and others in the recording studio


The Rafi trend continued next year with hits like AAA (‘Parda Hai Parda‘, ‘Shirdiwale‘, ‘Taiyab Ali‘ and ‘Dilme Dilbar‘) and HKKN (‘Chaanda Mera Dil‘, ‘Kya Hua Tera Wada‘, Asha duets ‘Yeh Ladka Hai Allah‘ and ‘Hai Agar Dushman‘) establishing MR as the voice of RK. The year also had Dharamveer (‘O Meri Mehabooba‘, ‘Are Maine Tuzhko‘ and Mukesh duet ‘Saath Azube‘) Chacha Bhatiza, Mukti apart from Inkaar (Dilki Kali), Apnapan (Aadmi Musafir Hai), Aadmi Sadak Ka (‘Aaj Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai‘ and title song), Chor Sipahi, Parvarish (Hum Premi), Chandi Sona (Ek Shoka Hasinase), Doosra Aadmi (Kya Mausam Hai), Priyatama (Na Na Na Na) and Shankar Hussain (Kahin Ek Masoom Nazuksi Ladki). Rafi was back to where he belonged to and once again his numbers started zooming in all the charts whether it was “Aap Ki Farmaish” or “Binaca Geet Mala”.  He also got Filmfare nomination for AAA and HKKN and also got the National award for “Kya Hua Tera Vada” which also fetched him Filmfare award. 

Subsequent years he gave memorable hits in Sargam (Dafliwale, Muzhe Mat Roko, Ramji Ki Nikali Sawari, Parbat Ke Us Paar, Koyal Boli), Asha (Ashaon Ke, Dhak Dhakse, Na Zane Sadaka Ke), Shaan (Aate Jaate, Jaanoo Meri Jaan, Yamma Yamma), Aap Ke Deewane, Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai (two wonderful Asha duets ‘Poocho Na Yaar Kya Hua‘ and ‘Bolo Bolo‘), Naseeb (John Jaani Janardhan), Abdullah (Maine Poocha Chandase), Apnapan (Aadmi Musafir Hai), Jaani Dushman (Chalo Re Doli), Karz (the super song ‘Darde Dil‘), Dostana (KK duet ‘Bane Chahe Dushman‘ and the Filmfare nominated ‘Mere Dost Kissa‘), Man Pasand (Logon Ka Dil), Sajan Ki Saheli (‘Boonde Nahin Sitare‘ and ‘Aise Na The Hum‘), etc. In fact, “Dafliwale” was BGM top hit song of the year.

It is still puzzling how these five years the standard of hit music went down. Not only good Rafi songs, but even good KK songs did not become hit but some very mediocre songs topped the charts. Perhaps few exceptions were songs from Kabhi Kabhi, Sanyaasi, Roti Kapda Aur Makaan, Bobby, Tere Mere Sapne and Abhimaan. 

The agony we underwent during those five years was acute. As Rafi Bhakts and regular listeners of Hindi film music, we used to listen to all the programs regularly and we used to expect really good songs coming on air. But whenever we listened to some very ordinary songs being declared hit and so many good songs being relegated to back-ground, it was really becoming disgusting. We used to really get thrilled whenever the songs of Anurag or Hanste Zakhm or Paise Ki Gudiya or Bairag was aired on BGM and used to despair whenever these songs used to disappear.

The Producers who stood by Rafi during this critical phase were Manmohan Desai and Nazir Hussain, the Music Directors who were with Rafi were Madan Mohan and Usha Khanna and the heroes who did not abandon Rafi were Raaj Kumar and to certain extent Dharmendra. The agony lasted for about five years and once Rafiji came back like a hurricane, it appeared as if every thing had become normal.

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32 Blog Comments to “Those Five Years”

  1. Binu Nair says:

    Dev Mukherjee has a Solid Point…..

    I am reminded of Sashadhar Mukherjee a big time producer and music lover. When Joy Mukherji was making his debut, he asked Joy to go to the recording and learn the song Rafi ji was singing .

    And during one music event in Bengal, Rafi Saheb came last after Kishore Kumar, Asha B and RDB . People were waiting to hear Rafi saaheb . The event ended early morning.

    Those five years, Laxmikant Pyarelal had their say being established composers and they always gave Rafi Saaheb songs many of which became huge hits.

  2. Dev Mukherjee says:

    Please do not make the discussion regional in nature. I am a Bengali, but I consider Rafi as the greatest singer ever born. Rafi saab’s songs have been intertwined with my life from my childhood. Same is true for my brother and millions of Bengali Rafi fans. 1950s and 1960s were dominated by Bengali directors such as Sashadhar Mukherjee, Subodh Mukherjee, Bimal Roy etc and Rafi sang a lot of songs in their movies. In fact, I have found Manna Dey, another Bengali, an avid Rafi fan. During 1972-1976 KK sang lot of songs for Kalyanji-Anandji, LP etc. Thus, blaming Bengalees for those five years, amounts to spurious conclusion.

  3. bimal vaishnav says:

    As far as rafi is concerned one must not forget contribution of Laxmikant Pyarelal(of course because of dosti) who instead of kishore era continued to compose for rafi.nafrat ki duniya ko from Haathi mere saathi,i dont recollect other songs but all attempts in LP films were made to accomodate atleast one rafi song.
    one must not forget the heeri song of mera naam joker-“sadke heer tujhpe”;no one has sung such nice heeri till date in film industry,if you have not listened you are not a complete fan of rafi.
    finally he was born in punjab(now in pakistan),any punjabi who sings good is always soothing and one can’t compete his scale or range,sukhwindwer is another example,also listen to tere bin ik pal from film aa ab laut chale by jasminder narulla and udit narayan,you can feel the punjabi soul in female lines and nepali soul in male lines.certain things are natural by birth,i cant say when science will conquer to change it.

  4. Musharraf says:

    An extremely informative article. Actually i my self was wondering what went wrong during that period. This article reflects a deep insight and analysis that surfaced the real facts that contributed to the lean period of Rafi Saab whom I consider to be the king of the kings.Thanks to the author.

  5. Imtiazji,

    You are correct. I regret the error.

  6. minhaj uddin says:

    dear mr guru murthy,

    excellent composition of information. long live Rafiji , may God help u writing such good articles about rafiji for long and cherish our thirst for him.

  7. Imtiyaz A. Sharif says:

    Dear Guru Murthy Sir,

    Small correction: I think the song “Kahe ko bulaya mujhe balma” is not from film “Shehzada”. It’s from film “Humshakal”, Rajesh Khanna & Mausmi Chatterji starrer. Thanks.

  8. Imran Rustam says:

    Every era is the era of Rafi Sb. as he rules on our hearts. There are many gems in this so called lean era of Rafi sb as well which are immortal in the history of music as mentioned by Mr. H.V.Guru Murthy.


  9. kaleem sheikh says:

    You are so correct. Those 5 years were very painful . I now realise that i am not the only who suffered.

  10. binu nair says:

    abhishek ji, post 21… a litte clarification…..

    i never said that raju bharathan did’nt like rafi saaheb . i said and i mean that raju b, amin sayani and many of them have played games in their professional lives like all men and women. i am talking about they playing the game of “favourites” . no doubt , they are all very nice people.
    i am only commenting on their 20 percent of opportunistic behaviour( add or subtract some ) for their personal gains at various points of time in their professions.

    the second point is that – all the world loves mohd rafi saheb. i have yet to find a person who doen’nt like mohd rafis songs or his rich personae.
    this is very rare abisekh ji – in these times. i hope you agree.

    binu nair….

  11. b.venkatadri says:

    Abhishek Ji,

    Raju Bharatan is a little funny person and a split personality.

    He is highly egoistic too and always nursed the notion that he, being an important man in Times Of India group, can make and unmake film personalities and singers, at his will.

    Now, coming to your specific point, I think Raju Bharatan did like Rafi Saab as a singer, but just wanted to try his editorial clout to undermine Rafi Saab and prop up some others, thereby satisfying his own ego!!

    Raju Bharatan often indulges in assertions that are logically false. For instance, he just mentions one good song of a competing singer and makes a sweeping generalisation that he is great! Simialrly, he just mentions one or two not-so -good songs of a genuinely great singer and makes a sweeping assertion that he is not good!!


  12. abhisek taparia says:


    i read a few of raju bharatans articles and in one of them he had confessed that his favorite singer is Rafisaab but according to u he dint like rafisaab….

    i wud be grateful to u if cud u throw some more light on it????



  13. Anmol Singh says:

    Most award nomination and winning was influenced by film makers or personalities. The same is applicable to music as well.

    Between 1970 to 1974 Manoj Kumar and Raj Kapoor both as actors & film makers where most influencial. Both are thorough Mukesh loyalists.

    1970 – Best Male Singer – Mukesh Actor / Filmmaker – Manoj Kumar / Sohanlal Kanwar
    1971 – Best Male Singer – Manna Dey Actor / Filmmaker – Raj Kapoor
    1972 – Best Male Singer – Mukesh Actor / Filmmaker – Manoj Kumar / Sohanlal Kanwar
    1973 – Best Male Singer – N Chanchal Actor / Filmmaker – N Chanchal / Raj Kapoor
    1974 – Best Male Singer – M Kapoor Actor / Filmmaker – Manoj Kumar


    1980 Filmfare Analysis when Rafi Sahab has just leave us 6 months ago.

    Even Rafi loyalists were also not spared.

    Best Lyrics 1980
    Anand Bakshi – Shisha Ho Ya Dil Ho (Aasha)
    Anand Bakshi – Om Shanti Om (Karz)
    Anand Bakshi – Darde Dil (Karz)
    Anand Bakshi – Salamat Rahe (Dostana)
    Gulzar – Hazar Rahen Mudke Dekhi (Thodi Si Bewaffai) (WON)

    4 nominations of Anand Bakshi are over ruled by 1 single nomination of Gulzar “Hazar Rahen”.

    Best Male Playback Singer 1980
    Kishore Kumar – Om Shanti Om (Karz)
    Kishore Kumar – Hazar Rahen Mudke Dekhi (Thodi Si Bewaffai) (WON)
    Mohammed Rafi – Darde Dil (Karz)
    Mohammed Rafi – Maine Puchha Chandse (Abdulla)
    Mohammed Rafi – Mere Dost Kissa (Dostana)

    3 nominations of Rafi are overruled by one song of Kishore “Hazar Rahen” which is a duet with Lata.

    Except for the above 2 awards the film “Thodi Si Bewafai” has not won any other category award. If I recall the film “Thodi Si Bewafai” did average business compared to the other musical block busters of in 1980 Qurbani, Dostana, Karz, Abdulla, Aasha, Insaaf Ka Tarazu, Ram Balram, etc.

  14. binu nair says:

    in playback singing mohd rafi had the unique control over voice modulation. during the recording, he would ask : which actor will sing the song. then rafi saaheb would say : I will sing in the actor’s voice.

    Kishore kumar during “those five years” never had this aspect to tackle with. for, every song there was the : thick voice flowing out. for some greatly composed song in which the composer has worked hard – it clicked.
    for others, it became a pain on the ears. sample the songs of r.d.burman-kishore kumar. most of them are forgotten. but there were very nice songs of kishore during those days.
    pal pal dil ke paas is an eternal beauty for most music lovers and it was composed by kalyanji anandji. yeh shaam mastani, was another beauty from rd burman.
    coming back to rafi saaheb, the legend was good at mimic-ing, singing and also remembering peoples names and faces. during those five years rafi saaheb did many charities too which is very rare in the industry.
    on one occassion, he had earned rs.10,000 for a shamji ghanshamji recording. after the recording while entering the lift, the liftman known to rafi saaheb talked about his daughters wedding. rafi saaheb handed over the entire amount to the lift-man .
    this too happened during those five years……………………

    binu nair, rafi foundation, mumbai.

  15. A S MURTY says:

    sorry to take you on yet another topic through these threads, but then the 84th birth anniversary celebration of rafi sahab is just around the corner. we understand that several organizations are planning to hold various programmes commemorating this happy event on the 24th dec 2008. in some places the actual dates of the programmes differ due to other local needs. for instance, we understand the yadgaar-e-rafi memorial society of chandigarh is planning to host their annual programme on the 21st dec 2008 and that mubarak begum is the chief invitee. likewise, several other organizations across the world are/may be celebrating the event. we would like information from all such centres and full reporting of the birthday celebration in various cities to be published in this forum and also to convey the same through email to shirish kulkarni at his email id or to mr binu nair, so that the rafi foundation keeps records of these events. at hyderabad, the rafi foundation, hyderabad chapter is celebrating the 84th birth anniversary of rafi sahab at a picturesque locale – dhola-ri-dhani on the outskirts where we have been invited by this rajasthani resort to present the songs of rafi sahab. the event will be highly publicized by the management of this resort. in bangalore, we understand that the baar baar rafi fan club is organizing the birthday celebration at rorary club and their members will be singing with karaoke. shirish kulkarni and raju korti from mumbai will be attending a similar programme at a small place near dharwad where a very large audience attends such a programme every year. in calicut also there is this very big programme and p narayanan will be going over there to be part of their function. it would be very interesting for all of us to read the full reports of these and other functions at all other centres. rafi fans who come across news of such functions anywhere, however small, may please contact the rafi foundation with whatever details they can manage to give. thanks and once again i am sorry for taking the readers away from the main topic of “those five years”.

  16. binu nair says:

    guru ji : all points you have covered very well – the period when mohd rafi saahebs songs were not played in the popular programmes and a caucus was at work showing the world that – mohd rafi saaheb ought to take ” voluntary retirement scheme ” popularly knows as v.r.s. schemes.

    about ten years back i remember asking amin sayani in dubai over a arabic delicacy lunch very innocently, why rafi songs were not played in binaca geet malas in the seventies. H e had then said that Kishores popularity was so much that we had to play kishore songs.
    i did not then know that amin is a kishore kumar lover – which was revealed about two years ago at his office.
    amin sayani however has a cd about mohd rafi, which he markets very sincerely to rafi groups . this is his “business”. we do not decry this. what we deplore is his “partisan methods” of keeping mohd rafi songs out in bng’s – bringing about great heartaches/sadness to mohd rafi fans in different parts of the world.
    like amin sayani there was another personality trying to under-mind rafi for personal gains . his name is raju bharatan .

    binu nair… mumbai,

  17. Khaja Aliuddin, MD says:

    Janab Guru Murthy ji,
    Very well written article.It is amazing you remember all those songs. Congratulations, for such a nice write-up.
    One small correction. The duet “meri hasraton ki duniya” of Gall Gulabi Nain Sharabi is with Krishna Kalle, music by Shamji Ghanshamji and lyrics by Kulwanth Singh.
    With best regards to all Rafi lovers,
    Long live Rafi Sahab,
    Dr. Khaja Aliuddin

  18. A S MURTY says:

    h v gurumurthyji’s articles almost leave nothing for small timers like me to air comments. his articles are so very well crafted and contain all the inputs that go into good writing. suffice it to say, we enjoy his presentation and enjoy thoroughly reading his articles. he throws up so much of information that it baffles me how anyone can really remember so distinctly the names of the songs, movies, the year of their making and all other relevant details. i do believe that this ‘those five years’ was a combination of various factors and situations which saw the likes of kk also reaching the top while rafi sahab was still around. kudos for a great article though gurumurthyji and keep posting such fascinating and information filled articles.

  19. Hashim Khan says:

    Ref Post No 7.

    Binuji you have gladded the hearts of not only Rafi Lovers but all Music lovers.
    I must compliment Mr Guru Murty for reviving those five years. Yes, for all those of us who have grown up listening to Rafi Saheb from mid fifties, it was a difficult period in our lives, which blew over and like Mohd Ali, the greatest once again reclaimed the heavyweight title. A friend of mine recently said Rafi Saheb cannot be compared, he is the Mount Everest….You cannot go beyond that. Benchmark….Period.

  20. hamid ali says:

    binuji your reaserch of those five years won my heart.I am crazy fan of rafi
    sahib and you brought me new informations about rafi sahib.keep up the good work.

  21. Narayan says:

    Well done Guruji… Adaab Rafi !
    You have truly echoed our sentiments…..
    Also pl add Lakshmikant Pyarelal who backed Rafi sahab till the end and showed true loyalty even in Rajesh Khanna starrer like Do Raste, Mehboob ki Mehendi….
    They were without Rafi sahab in very few % of films like Lataji…

  22. Nasir Ali Saab,

    You have a point. Perhaps reasons for Rafi’s lesser output during those five years may be due to the decline of Rafi heroes like Dilip, Rajendra, Shammi, Pradeep, Bharat Bhushan, Sunil Dutt, etc., eclipse of Rafi MDs like SJ, OPN, Chitragupt, N.Datta, Jaidev, etc., usually lessser no of films of other Rafi MDs like MM, Usha Khanna, etc. and swicthing from Rafi to KK of other MDs like LP, KA, etc. and Rafi heroes like Jeetendra, Dharmendra, Shashi, Dev Anand, etc. and also perhaps due to the emergence of new crop of heroes like Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh, Rishi, Randheer, etc. Let us also notice that SDB and RDB almost completly swicthed over to KK ignoring Rafi. SD who had some 80 odd songs with Rafi prior to Aradhana gave only abot 8 songs post Aradhana.

    With hindsight, there appears to be some truth in the Bengali syndrome for Rafi’s setback as apart from SDB, RDB, Salil Chadhury, Anil Biswas, Hemant Kumar (understandable since he himself was a singer), etc. always were not favourabnly inclined towards Rafi during some stage in their career in spite of Rafiji’s unlimited talent and range.

  23. binu nair says:

    this sunday, dec.21st the rafi foundation will hold a musical evening of mohd rafi songs – as part of his 84 th birth anniversary. the programme will start at 6.30 p.m. sharp at Mumbais Naushad Hall at Koliwada East , opp Mini Punjab Hotel and near to the famed shanmukhananda hall. its a five minute walk from this site.

    rafi centric singers with a dedicated band of musicians from rafi foundation will hold fort.

    music lovers are welcome to attend as usual and take the membership for attendance .

    binu nair, mumbai rafi foundation, c ell : 9833 250 701

  24. Siva says:

    I am addressing this request to Mr Binu Nair and all other regular authors in this site about the live program that Naushad sahab had conducted with Rafi sahab. This should be with Doordarshan. Long back -I think in 1983/84 I remember having seen that in Doordarshan when I was a kid. Can this be made available in form of a CD. I think for all Rafi fans this would be a priceless gem. The live rendering of O duniya ke rakhwale in this program was even better Rafi’s own film version so many years prior to that.
    I think this idea (trying to preserve this program for posterity) may be taken up on the forthcoming birth anniversary of Sahab on 24th Dec.

  25. binu nair says:

    Sanjay ji, post No 7… Mr.C.M.Desai, the walkie-talkie of indian films (hindi) recently told me a unique thing about some singers in the h.f.m.

    said he, the singers would latch on to the laps of “ascending music composers” and make them near relatives. later on when the compsers saleability “crashed” they would leave them, desert them and usually destroy them.
    u , me and innumerable men and women know these composers who were thus – betrayed. this piece is written for the peace of their immortal souls and music.

    god alone can give the singers “peace of mind” for their acts of ommissions and commissions which are part of music industry folklore. they have everything today but – purity of the souls.

    binu nair

  26. SANJAY ARORA says:


  27. binu nair says:

    Those five years : Very Apt Title and Well Researched Article….Gurumurthy ji….

    During those five years the “bengali lobby” composers triumphed and they ruled the bollywood music scene – like never before. Kishore kUmars wearing the Khandwa area belt – did not bother them too much and they thought that kishore kumar was the ‘rightful heir” to the top musical throne.

    as fate would have it, mohd rafi was not available for recording the aradhana songs which became big hits. the songs went to kishore kumar and became big time hits.
    when we talk of binaca geet malas – it was rigged to the core like our film fare awards – more often than not.
    more, amin sayani was a friend of kishore kumar from his college days, amin saab admitted to me recently in his office at cecil court, mumbai. i asked him : who his favourite singer was ??….. Of course, kishore was the reply in his baritone ringing voice. I was taken aback but did not show it. i realised at once that one and one is two – not three and realised the real reason behind the b.g. rigged mala’s.
    but, to give the devil it’s share , i will say that popular songs were played in the bng , but rafi songs were mostly kept out mostly on purpose by a musical caucus.
    a rafi lover has asked, why rafi saahebs songs were not played in the rigged mala’s?
    i will try and answer them as i have witnessed those harsh musical times.

    a) some singers (no need to name them herein) wanted to show their superiority and snub rafi saaheb. they had failed in their first round .

    b)a group of journos and chamchas jumped in to the fray and announced pre-mature retirement plan for mohd rafi. (there was no v.r.s. then).

    c) meanwhile after a tiff with dilip kumar, rafi saaheb had announced that he would no longer sing for dilip kumar. s.d.burman took kishore kumar for a song . the media made a “big announcement” that kishore would sing for dilip saaheb implying that kishore kumar has moved in to mohd rafi’s shoes.

    even yesudas the favourite south indian singer came to the hindi scene after kishore kumar was unable to live up to the expectations . kishore had a very restricted range and style which were haunting him , no less.
    even for a straight song such as sachai chup nahi sakhti kagaz ke phoolon se kishore was reluctant and had to be coaxed in to the recording rooms. says pyarelal Ji : kishore had decided that this song belongs to mohd rafi….(wrongly) i will say.
    meanwhile the challenges were mounting and music lovers wanted mohd rafi at the helm . rafi backed composers obliged and the king of melody was slowing inching to his golden phase and place – once again.

    amar, akbar, anthony changed everything and the period of 1977 onwards saw mohd rafi giving – hits after hits once again.

    the decline of rdb after a solid start, a very solid start had begun. bng rigged became history. mohd rafi’s evergreen songs became immortal along with some top quality songs of kishore kumar.

    those traumatic five years ended for mohd rafi on a triumphant note and his legion of fans everywhere were a happier lot – post 1977 once again.

    binu nair, mumbai. 9833 250 701

  28. ZTAS 77 says:

    It just proves how great Rafi was as a singer to make a comeback to the top again after this shadow phase which I personally think was down to a lot of politics within the industry.
    Who knows what could have been the outcome if Rafi did not stay away from the scene for a while after his hajj pilgramige due to the religious issue of music OR if S.D.Burman did not fall ill, all around the time of the making of Aradhana.
    If Rafi had sung those two solos in Aradhana, who knows how the outcome would have been for the next few years for Rafi OR even more what would have been the outcome for Kishore’s position?

    For Rafi fans it was such a shame for Rafi’s decreased output and media popularity around those shadow years which personally I think was a great insult to this humble human being who gave so much to the industry but destiny brought this great singer back to the musical and media spotlight only for destiny again to take Rafi away from us for ever! I thought a further insult to Rafi had taken place after his passing which was the filmfare awards of 1981 where Rafi should have got the award of best male playback singer compared to Kishore’s awarded song that personally I’ve hardly ever heard on the Radio compared to Rafi’s nominated songs! It would have been awarded tribute to Rafi’s passing if he was given the award. However fair play to Kishore, as a tribute he sung a Rafi number on stage on that night.

    Lets not forget Madan Mohan’s contribution to Rafi’s comback and further still, Rafi’s “Kya hu wa tera vaada” composed by RD Burman got Rafi the filmfare award and National award which unfortunetly kishore never acheived under a RD composition despite being Kishore’s main mentor!

  29. Nasir Ali says:

    Thanks Mr. Murthy for that fine article. I, for one, could understand very well what you say about those five excruciating years for I, too, have suffered during that time and was even disoriented when Rafi Sahaab’s songs were disappearing. What compounded that fact was the easing out of the old Bollywood heroes. The rise of Kishore Kumar, I feel, was due to the fact that for the general new populace it was easier to sing KK than Rafi Sahaab. When you mentioned KK’s ARRE RAFTA RAFTA I am reminded of the stage show of Rafi Sahaab held in Calcutta when he was not being allowed to leave the stage in order that KK could begin his rounds. At that time, it was Rafi Sahaab who sang a line of ARRE RAFTA RAFTA in order to warm the people up to KK. Next, I believe that apart from Madan Mohan’s Laila Majnu, it was the Emergency (imposed on 26.6.1975) which made the nation realise what they had been missing in the absence of Rafi Sahaab. I distinctly remember that period when Rafi Sahaab’s songs were being played all throughout from the dawn to midnight every day for a number of weeks or so. I can never ever forget my own delight expressed in the words of Wordsworth: “Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive..” It certainly felt very heavenly then. Oh I could go on and on. But gotta stop here.

  30. mohanflora says:

    Great analysis, Guru Murthy. The feelings of Rafi lovers of the period are well expressed!

    The weekly Binaca Geet Malas in 1980 clearly showed that Rafi was easily dominating, sometimes with as many as 10 songs as compared to Kishore’s two (on May 28) out of a total of 16 toppers! In fact Rafisaab was at the busiest phase of his career when he passed awayin July ’80 !

  31. biman baruah says:

    respected guru murtyji

    congratulations for well reasearh article. keep it up. we always awaiting for a article on Rafi Saheb from you with new dimensions.
    Monmohan Desai, the family entertainer was a great rafi fan, there was a rafi song in his each & every film during this period except Roti. Laxmikant-Pyarelal also composed number of songs during the period in the golden voice of Rafi Saheb.

    With best wishes & regards to all Rafi Lovers.

    Good Night
    Biman Baruah

  32. Anil Cherian says:

    A nice read.. though the same subject has been analysed before. May I request our senior contributors to clarify some points:
    #1. What yardsticks BGM applied to measure the popularity of a particular song?
    #2. What did the common folks prefer to hear/sing during this phase? No one really cared much for ‘tum jo mil gaye ho….’ or ‘ikna ik din yeh….’ or ‘aaj mausam…’ or ‘apni aankhon mein….’?
    #3. How much did Rafisahab’s slight change in voice character (I wouldn’t want to call it deterioration) contribute to the state of affairs?
    #4. Did the movie people (producers, MDs, heroes) shy away from Rafisahab on account of commercial reasons alone or was there some other factors in play?

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